I am grateful to my friend Robert Keller for his guest post today. Recently as he was recovering from a medical incident he spent three weeks in a long term care setting. That experience put him in the same kind of situation I see every week as I visit in facilities around our community. It […]
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Just as spiritually we need to ask for God’s forgiveness before we can go to work in His kingdom; so also we need to be careful this Winter about hand washing when we go into the nursing homes to visit. Just as having a selfish lifestyle taints everything we touch so we also need to be extra diligent when we are visiting with our friends in long term care.
Shaking hands or giving an occasional hug is an important part of what we do in nursing home ministry. Imagine the loneliness of living in a world where no one touches you without getting paid to do so? But to the normal concern of hygiene during this year’s flu season is the added alarm over the spread of the corona virus. What can we do as volunteers? One idea is to sit home huddled in our room with a box of hand sanitizing wipes until Spring. But imagine if all of the doctors and nurses took that approach! Our resident’s spiritual needs are no less important than their medical ones but as we go to our normal visits; there are some things we must pay attention to.
These simple steps are not just a matter of routine. They may save a life. As I was taught we need to gel in and gel out with hand sanitizer when entering and leaving a residence hall. Secondly I am sure to wash with soap and warm water (Including my wrists) before leaving home and on my return. Last of all be sure to always ask the staff before entering individual resident’s quarters. I am a regular in room visitor to people however I have never gone in to pray, sing for or visit anyone without an invitation. That protects not only the residents but also yourself from unneeded risks. Here is a simple and fun video you can watch and share. Have a blessed day and don’t forget to wash those hands!
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them and say; “Truly I say to you, as you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.”
One night recently one of the reporters on the news said we shouldn’t panic about the Corona virus in China because it seems to only kill the old and weak. I confess that I was only half listening and didn’t give it much thought at the time. But the next day as I was singing for people at the nursing home and watching the faces of my precious friends it hit me those old and weak folks that the reporter mentioned are our moms, dads, older brothers and friends.
Though we as believers shouldn’t be fearfully hiding at home we need to recall what Jesus had to say about people considered helpless and less valued in this world. Instead of running in fear we should first pray. Ask God for His grace to help and then ask what we can do to put our arms around all of His family all over the world!
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? Romans 8:24
In the town where I spent my teen-aged years there is a hill we called Mount Pleasant. On most days it was just another rolling green hill. But on mornings when it was perfectly sunny elsewhere, you often found yourself surrounded by deep impenetrable fog.
Though the fog bank usually was no longer that the short half mile over the crest of the hill, the only safe way through was to slow to a crawl and keep your eyes on the yellow center line. You just had to keep going and it would not be long before you would break back out into the sunshine.
Fog banks come to all of our lives. A single phone call, one visit to the doctor or a short screech of tires on pavement and the familiar landmarks of our world can quickly disappear under dark foreboding clouds. Living in Long Term Care or in the shadow of a diagnosis, can sometimes feel as if life has entered a fog bank from without any end. But God’s promise for us in those moments is that He will still guide us. He gives us His hope to light the way even if just one inch at a time. God will stay with us and carry us all the way through. When dense clouds close us in we need to remind ourselves that on God’s mountain road the brightest hope is just over the top of the hill!